How much should nurses be paid? - page 5

As a registered nurse of sixteen years plus a few months, I think I should be making at least fifty dollars an hour base pay. Aaaaaand......your thoughts on what you feel you should be paid for... Read More

  1. by   live4today
    Originally posted by jnette
    I still believe that nurses are viewed as nothing more than the blue collar laborers of the healthcare profession.. regardless of education, specialty training/skills, etc. We're still just that. And we have accepted it by our silence (other than on these BBs).

    This is what has to change. Until it does, things will only continue to get worse and we'll be stripped of even more as time goes by.
  2. by   TreceRN
    Wow Cheerfuldoer, I'm wondering why you keep practicing nursing with the issues you have. I'm also wondering about your user name. You don't seem very "cheerful". I'd think that if you are that frustrated and upset with your profession that you are discouraging others from becoming nurses, it might be time to look for another line of work. I agree that nurses should be paid a lot more, but I also feel that professional athletes should be paid a lot less! Our society places the wrong emphasis on certain professions; this is a reflection of our scewed value system as a nation. If you want to point fingers and place blame, I'd suggest we start with our government, who continues to sacrifice healthcare re-embursements and heap up rediculous regulatory standards to the point that nurses are forced to take heavier patient loads as hospitals struggle to keep their doors open and serve our communities.
  3. by   live4today
    TreceRN........I never digress from what I believe in wholeheartedly. Sixteen years in nursing with six years as a break before I went back to the same old mess....only the mess has grown deeper during my sabbatical out of what validates the professional stance I take on nursing where I've worked over the years. I've done traveling nursing, agency nursing, and military nursing. I've worked in many states as a nurse, and if I were to count all the hospitals I've worked in I'd run out of fingers and toes. So, thank you for your heartfelt response of which you are certainly entitled to posting. If you've been around as much as I have in nursing, you'd know where I am coming from.........and not just me, but many many many nurses on feel as I do.

    I see you've posted 16 times thus far. You may have been lurking for a long time before posting, so you may have seen some of those posts. If not, stick'll learn that I do not stand alone in my comments. For example, mattsmom81 agrees as do many others.
  4. by   VickyRN
    I think we are all very frustrated as we love our profession dearly, but finding a decent place in which to practice is getting more and more difficult as the years go by.....
  5. by   jjjoy
    I agree with those folks who wouldn't be up in arms over pay if the conditions were better. Nursing is a rewarding field and if you can do a good job and can make decent living, just fine. Too many nurses, however, are stretched too thinly. No matter how great the pay, if the working conditions are poor (stressful and dangerous), good people will leave the profession.

    There is a definite inconsistency in terms of education, pay, and job responsibilities. More education does not necessarily demand a higher salary, so I don't see requiring bachelors' degrees and masters degrees as being a means of increasing salaries. Plumbers and mechanics can charge a lot per hour because their skills are in demand, not because they need 4-8 years of college education. The average college professor (vs a hotshot big league professor) with as many years of education as an MD doesn't command nearly as much as an MD. You either need the education to perform the job or you don't need it. If nurses need 4 years of education or more, that's fine. I just hate to see the argument that if all RNs needed bachelor's degrees they'd be paid more.

    LVNs at inpatient facilities have incredible responsibility for patients yet have a pretty short training period. Do they deserve relatively low pay since it's a pretty low entry gate or do they deserve relatively high pay since there's so much responsibility?

    It is true that nurses with extra skills and information from experience ought to be paid more. But then their job description is exactly the same as the new grad so how much more money is reasonable?

    It seems like the whole system would have to have to be rebuilt from the ground up with education and job descriptions more clearly defined and pay that reflects the demand for and competency of those skills.
  6. by   live4today
    VickyRN and jjjoy.....thank you both for your fine comments to this nursing old dilemma. For those of us who have been in the profession for years now, and have witnessed the changes that have taken place over the years, we know the irony the profession faces from day to day, and the frustrations that go along with not being heard.

    Nursing simply MUST take a turn for the better! There aren't any ands, ifs, or buts about that!

    I returned to nursing to hopefully make a difference for all nurses....present and future. I knew things weren't that kosher in nursing when I took a sabbatical from nursing for almost six years, but my eyes have truly been open to the changes since my return to the field not long ago -- and I do mean there have been major changes.

    Six years ago when I was working as a nurse in CA, I began to see then some of what is going on in nursing today in the hospitals. It wasn't looking good for us then, and it sure isn't looking good for us now.

    Most of us love what we do for our patients which is why we keep on keeping on in the profession. Just because we stay with it does not in any way mean that we are satisfied with the daily grind and the admin's turning of their heads as if they don't see what we see too.

    If we could build our own hospital here at, how would we choose to run it?

    Sometime ago, I believe we had a thread to this nature (can't remember how far back however). If anyone can find it, let me know the link so I can review those comments.

    We could do our own "hospital building" right here, and see if we can come up with the ideal place to work that is workable in reality...not just for pretend. Any takers? Let's build that hospital here, and learn from one another as to how it should or shouldn't be run.

    Now, I have to sign off shortly to get a good night's sleep since I work tomorrow. To all of you, I wish a very peaceful night! :kiss
    Last edit by live4today on Jul 6, '03
  7. by   Rapheal
    Okay, I'll start. First what type of hospital. A community hospital? a teaching hospital? What level of trauma do we take? Are we a profit or nonprofit hospital?

    Just so you know-If the pay is average (even the lower end of the pay scale) and the patient to nurse ratio is good, if there are aides-then I will be sending my resume even if I need to commute and take a pay cut.
  8. by   ainz
    I think we need to define what a professional nurse is to start with. Once that is done, we then base our pay on our contribution to what the payors will reimburse for. For example, if a patient generates a $10,000 hospital bill, we should look at how much of that revenue was generated by nursing services, not have nursing lumped into the room and board charge. I think we would find that we are being very underpaid. Of course, in the prospective payment system nurses would have to be willing to take the risk (and loss) when the hospital looses money or perhaps we should be paid on a separate schedule just for nursing care, like the doctors get paid. Either way, we need to do away with our hourly pay mentality and move toward a more professional reimbursement model. I also think that a "professional" nurse is one that take prerequisites and earns an undergraduate degree in an acceptable pre-nursing curriculum and then gets accepted to "nursing school." The other associate degree, BSN, LPN, etc categories of nurses would be technical nurses and paid by the hour. Not a popular concept but one that help elevate nursing to a true professional status. But what would their role be?????? I am sure we would generate countless research studies on that, if we haven't already.
  9. by   James Huffman
    I've followed this thread with some interest. A couple of thoughts.

    1. I've found nurses notoriously reticent to say -- in effect -- "This is what I'm worth, and this is what I charge." Until that happens, don't be shocked that you are not paid what you think you are worth. Don't be shy. When I started out, I found it helpful to say -- out loud, to myself -- "My fee is ___ per hour." Or whatever.

    2. Some nurses think there's something wrong with saying they are worth a certain amount per procedure, hour, or case. There's no disconnect between saying "I'm a nurse, and I like doing what I do," and "I'm worth what I charge."

    3. In many cases, nurses are the victim of what is technically known as monopsony, where there are numerous sellers (that is, nurses selling their services) and only one buyer (one hospital, or often several that pay basically the same amount for nursing services. This is especially true in small communities, where there are often no independent nursing services, home health agencies, or other employers of nurses.

    4. One of the ways to begin correcting this problem problem is for nurses to begin working as self-employed independent contractors and other such independent arrangements. That's not a final solution (I think the ultimate goal should be a whole range of options for nurses, but that's a ways down the road) but it will begin to give nurses options in the meantime, and will provide the competition that will be good for consumers, nurses, and ultimately the whole health care industry.

    Jim Huffman, RN